ISLAMABAD: The Federal Revenue Board has developed an integrated strategy that contributes greatly to a significant increase in Pakistan’s exports from $ 1.6 billion (in August 2020) to $ 2.4 billion (in December 2020).
Pakistan’s exports increased 18.3 percent in December 2020 compared to $ 1.993 billion in the same month last year.
While referring to the factors that facilitate growth in exports, FBR stated that with the 2020 Finance Law, import duties in the 1.623 tariff lines for basic raw materials and intermediate goods were reduced to zero. In line with this strategy, additional customs duties and regulatory duties regarding 164 articles related to the textile sector not produced in the country were also removed together with all stakeholders. All these measures were taken in order to neutralize the negative effects of the COVID 19 outbreak, especially for exporters, and to make their products competitive against their competitors in the international market.
With the “Produce in Pakistan” initiative, the Tax Allowance rates for at least eight (08) sectors were revised upwards by the FBR. Over 434,000 requests were eliminated during the entire exercise, and about 7 800 exporters benefited from this initiative. Similarly, FBR made ninety (90) percent more repayment of Sales Tax for the period July-December 2020 compared to the same period last year. This led to a 43% growth in export volume in the form of an increase in TEUs (i.e. Tonnage Equivalent Units) / Containers, which was 35,477 in July 2020, leading to a significant increase to 62,591 in December 2020.
To make a tangible contribution to exports, all Export Facilitation Plans have been simplified / rationalized for their optimum use by exporters. First of all, the extension of the usage period of different export facilitation programs was allowed for a period of one year between 01 March 2020 and 28 February 2021. Secondly, within the scope of the Export-Oriented Units Program, the storage period of facilities and machinery has been reduced. From 10 to five years. Third, an administrative level is reduced (within the scope of Reduction of Customs Duties and Taxes for Export Plan and Manufacturing Bond Plan) for immediate resolution of complaints, and a Regulatory Authority is established to facilitate exporters.
In addition, it has been facilitated for investors in Export Processing Zones to pay fees / taxes for disposal of machinery in the tariff area. These facilitation measures resulted in an increase of 11% in the number of exports of Declarations of Goods (GDs) from 71,190 in July 2020 to 79,756 in December 2020. Likewise, the total number of Export Goods Declarations (GDs) from July 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 remained at 408,472 compared to 333,943 on January 1, 2020, an increase of 18%.
In order to achieve the goal of facilitating / promoting exports, an automatic system for filing the request for the final sanction of Tax Exemption Claims for the payment of Tax Exemption Claims to the exporter was implemented on 1 October 2020. The Export Goods Declaration filed in the customs WeBOC system is considered as a Customs Exemption Request. State Bank of Pakistan deposits system-approved payments directly into exporters’ accounts online. In addition to the automation initiative in question, Green Channel exports were increased from 74% of GDs / Consignment sales in July 2020 to 77.3% in December 2020.
Likewise, the FASTER PLUS System has been implemented for the quick payment of Sales Tax returns to exporters.
The FBR lifts the regulatory duty on imports of cotton yarn, a key raw material for Pakistan’s value-added textile industry, by June 30, 2021. Committed to the national goal of increased exports, the Federal Revenue Board makes every effort to assist exporters by making continuous improvements in its laws and procedures.